After a thorough, national search for its next editor, award-winning reporter Kate Cough has been selected to lead The Maine Monitor’s newsroom, executive director Micaela Schweitzer-Bluhm has announced.
Cough’s editorial duties will start in January. Departing editor David Dahl will work with Cough to ensure a smooth hand-over.
“We fielded applications from exceptional candidates from Maine and from across the country,” Schweitzer-Bluhm said. “Kate’s experience, vision, and passion for the mission of the Monitor stood out. We are all thrilled she will be our next newsroom leader and are excited about the vital journalism the Monitor will do under her watch.”
Cough joined the Monitor as an investigative reporter in 2021 and took on additional responsibilities as enterprise editor in July 2023.
An eighth-generation Mainer, Cough grew up in Portland and now calls Bar Harbor home. She began her journalism career as a reporter for The Ellsworth American and later as a digital media strategist for The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. She graduated from Bryn Mawr College and earned a master’s degree from Columbia Journalism School.
“Every week I hear from people who are deeply grateful the Monitor exists, and who use our coverage to inform their decisions on everything from how to vote on a referendum issue to how to protect their homes from floods,” Cough said.
“More than anything, Mainers are hungry for journalism that is accurate, nonpartisan and nuanced. The Monitor delivers this every week, setting the agenda for news organizations around the state. David has been an outstanding leader and mentor for me and my fellow reporters over his tenure, and I am honored to build on the exceptional work he has done.”
Dahl praised Cough’s work and selection as the next editor. “I couldn’t be more pleased that Kate is taking over. The Maine Monitor is in good hands,” he said.
Monitor adds full-time deputy editor, hires veteran Harper’s editor
In recognition of the Monitor’s growing newsroom and goals to expand its investigation and enterprise coverage, Schweitzer-Blum said the investigative nonprofit newsroom would also bring on Stephanie McFeeters as deputy editor.
McFeeters will join the Monitor after nearly eight years at Harper’s Magazine, where she is currently managing editor.
“Stephanie brings incredible experience and insights to our investigative team of reporters,” Schweitzer-Bluhm said. “With her experience and full-time collaboration with Kate, our newsroom will be able to expand its journalism and launch new initiatives to engage with readers in new and exciting ways.”
“Stephanie’s keen editorial eye and extensive journalistic and management experience will be a great addition to the Monitor,” Cough said. “We are so excited to welcome her to Maine and to the Monitor team, and we’re thrilled she has chosen to bring her talents to building out our coverage of the issues that matter most to Mainers.”
McFeeters began her journalism career with internships at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and The Boston Globe, before joining the Daily Hampshire Gazette in Northampton, Massachusetts as a staff reporter. She graduated from Dartmouth College. She will join the Monitor staff beginning in February.
“I am impressed and inspired by the work of the Monitor newsroom and am thrilled to be joining such a mission-driven team,” McFeeters said. “And getting to move to Maine and become a part of the Maine community is a huge bonus!”
Veteran TV executive joins MCPIR board
Emily Barr, a 43-year veteran of TV news and programming, joined the board of directors of the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, which publishes The Maine Monitor, Schweitzer-Bluhm also announced.
Barr is the former president and CEO of Graham Media Group, and previously led TV station groups in Chicago and North Carolina, and worked at television stations in Maryland, Texas, Washington, D.C., and Minnesota.
Barr co-founded the Maine Journalism Foundation, which led local Maine fundraising efforts to secure the future of the Portland Press Herald and all of the other assets of Masthead Maine.
She has extensive experience serving on the boards of news organizations, including the Associated Press, the Television Bureau of Advertising, and the National Association of Broadcasters.
A native of Haverhill, Massachusetts, Barr is a graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy and holds a BA from Carleton College, where she also serves on its Board of Trustees. In 1986, she earned an MBA from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Barr is married to Scott M. Kane; they live in Cape Elizabeth.